Tuesday, September 27, 2011, 9:30 AM ET|Posted by Will RichmondVizu, an online ad technology provider which measures brand lift, announced an upgrade of its platform yesterday which will give brands and agencies greater insight into the effectiveness of in-stream video ad campaigns, an important step to increasing their spending. With the upgrade, Vizu now supports the VAST/VPAID spec which means Vizu can measure the effectiveness of video ads placed through ad exchanges and real-time bidding platforms as well those bought through direct publisher sales. As Vizu's CEO Dan Beltramo explained to me last week, this is a key step because a significant portion of video ads are already being placed through exchanges and RTB platforms which he expects to grow further.
As spending on video ads has grown, brands, agencies and publishers have been eager for ROI metrics. Too often, this has led to using traditional display metrics like impressions and click-throughs. As Dan points out, the problem with this approach that a brand campaign is intended to change attitudes or perceptions, which neither an impression nor click-through effectively measures.
Vizu's solution is to use a combination of ad tags to track where the campaign has run and cookies to see who has/hasn't viewed it. Then it fields a one-question survey that addresses the advertiser's goals like purchase intent or awareness (e.g. for Toyota, "How likely are you to purchase a Prius?"). By comparing the results of those who saw the ad vs. those who haven't, Vizu determines the brand lift, defined as the change in the user's perception or attitude. Vizu exposes the survey results in a dashboard to the brand/agency team in real time so changes can be made to the campaign or creative as necessary.
The challenge until now has been that Vizu could only integrate the ad tags into video players it supported, which meant no visibility into ads trafficked through exchanges or RTB platforms to multiple sites. With the VAST/VPAID upgrade, all compliant inventory can be tagged once by the ad server feeding the exchange regardless of where the ad is eventually placed, so the full campaign can be measured. That allows the brands/agencies to see a complete picture of their ROI.
There's lots of excitement around online video advertising, but to continue ramping growth, granular, standards-based measurement systems like Vizu that justify spending are crucial.